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Through the eyes of an extra


Pelumi Kolawole




When you are watching an advert, what comes to mind? Have you ever thought about how those random people laughing in a bar know each other? That’s called "casting", something I learned through my experience of being in a commercial for De Montfort University. So how did I get there? Well, let’s start from the beginning. I have never considered myself to be an actress before, so naturally, I was quite concerned when a man approached me claiming to be a talent scout while I was eating with my friends. He explained that the university was looking to create a campaign featuring real students as background extras for a relatable feeling, and I would be perfect for it.


The talent scout proceeded to take my headshots and told me that the production company would be in touch. A few weeks went by, and nothing happened until I received a call saying that; I would be ideal for the rooftop scene. I was told that the call time was from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and to bring my clothes for a variety of looks. Excited and nervous are a few words to describe how I felt on shoot day.


The dominant presence of cameras was exciting. Nervously, I started chatting with other extras, creating a familiar common bond. The atmosphere was buzzing with organised chaos. While doing my hair and makeup, I felt like a newly discovered movie star. Eventually, the shooting process started. One could say all; the extras looked like an X-Factor group thrown together perfectly casted. The director told us to “Dance like no one was watching." A once in a lifetime; opportunity condensed into three accelerating minutes that made me glad to be filled with life and laughter.

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